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5 Ways to Detox Your Mind and Body

Mind and Body Detox Tips -  a woman meditating in her living room.

Detoxing your mind can be as beneficial as detoxing your body. After all, your mind and body are connected! For example, when you have a mentally stressful day, you most likely feel the effects of that stress on your body and vice versa. Nutrition, sleep and other daily wellness habits also influence our mental and physical health. So, if you’re thinking about trying a detox diet to give your body a fresh start, give your mind some love too. Here are some tips for getting both mind and body benefits out of your detox plan.

1) Meditation Benefits and Detoxing Your Mind

Meditation has an amazing impact on your mind and can put you more in tune with your body. It can reduce mental stress and anxious feelings and leave you feeling centered, peaceful and relaxed.1 It’s the perfect start to detoxing your mind. In fact, many people find it’s the perfect start to every day. To begin, try setting aside a few minutes every morning to sit quietly, breathe deeply and clear your mind.

At the beginning of your meditation practice, your mind may wander, but that’s okay. We promise it gets easier over time. Start small and be patient and consistent. The rewards will start to show quickly. You’ll gain renewed physical and mental awareness, and you might see a boost in productivity. Those who meditate even tend to make better choices overall. Meditation has also been shown to boost concentration, happiness, self-love, cardiovascular health, and it may have some anti-aging benefits.2,3,4

Researchers say meditation can actually change the brain’s physiology, causing meditators to have more gray matter and longer telomeres, which are the caps of chromosomes that indicate biological age.1,4 They suspect this might be due to the effect of meditation on stress, as stress and stress-related oxidation is a major factor in aging.

So, be sure to detox your mind with meditation and get the added benefits of a boost to your overall wellbeing. For more zen-seeking tips, read Say Om: 6 Tips to Help You Relax and Reduce Stress.

2) Digital Detox for Your Mind and Body

It’s no secret that we love our screen time. We spend an impressive amount of time with our computers, phones, tablets and TVs. It seems like everywhere we turn there’s a screen waiting to ask something of us, distract us, inform or entertain us, and most people can’t work without them.

It can be overwhelming, to say the least, which is why digital detox trends are on the rise.5 Taking a digital timeout is an excellent mental detox method. It may even feel like a form of meditation—a way to quiet the digital chatter, just like meditation helps quiet the mind. And if you can’t completely banish electronics for a few days because of work or other responsibilities, give your mind a break by setting boundaries. Schedule some digital detox hours every day after work or at least on the weekends.

The benefits of a digital detox extend to your body too. Blue light exposure from devices may affect our sleep and the health of our eyes.6,7 Blue light rays are shorter and more energetic than warmer light colors, and blue light is more likely to damage the retina.8 In fact, blue light rays are the closest type of visible light on the color spectrum to UV rays. And exposure to this type of light from our devices before bedtime may affect melatonin production and lead to trouble sleeping.7 Read Important Facts about Blue Light and Eye Health for more information on how blue light affects our health.

3) Detox Drinks for Health and Hydration

During any detox plan, it’s important to stay hydrated and provide your body with the right nutrients and natural antioxidants to get the most out of your detox efforts. Give your detox plan a boost with detox water, healthy juice drinks with detox ingredients, and detoxifying herbal teas.

Detox Water

Water helps flush toxins out of your system while keeping your body hydrated, and your cells depend it for healthy function.9 But detox water takes things up a level, adding a dash of flavor to your H2O while upping your intake of healthy, detoxifying nutrients.

What is detox water? It’s water that is infused and/or flavored with natural ingredients. Common detox water ingredients include lemon wedges, cucumber slices, citrus juices, berries, mint, parsley and other herbs or spices. You can mix and match your favorite flavors and create new detox water infusions every day. For recipe ideas, read Infused Water Benefits.

Detox Juice Blends

Juice-based detox drinks are a great way to pack in concentrated nutrients with cleansing ingredients like ginger, cayenne, turmeric, and apple cider vinegar with mother (ACV) along with your favorite juiced or pureed fruits, vegetables and leafy greens. Try a detox juice shot to kick off your morning, or sip cleansing detox drinks throughout the day. Here’s an easy-to-make detox shot recipe to get you started.

ACV Morning Detox Shot

For more detox drink recipes, see 25 Detox Smoothies to Cleanse Your Body.

Detox Teas

Herbal teas are a detox staple. They’re full of healthy compounds, antioxidants and ingredients that provide detox benefits, and some of them are particularly beneficial for detoxing. Dandelion root tea, turmeric tea and caffeine-free detox combination teas are excellent choices, and you can give your colon cleanse a boost with senna tea.

Swanson Organic Dandelion Root Tea
This traditional herbal drink contains chicoric acid, which has a natural diuretic effect that may help flush the liver of toxins. Dandelion has an esteemed place in herbal traditions around the world.

Swanson Organic Turmeric Tea
Turmeric is soothing to the stomach and herbalists acknowledge it as a top herb for cleansing, rejuvenating and revitalizing body, mind and spirit. Our Certified Organic Turmeric Tea is made from 100% organic turmeric and packed fresh in bleach- and staple-free tea bags.

EveryDay Detox Tea from Traditional Medicines
This detox combination tea is based on a traditional Chinese medicine formula to stimulate your liver's natural detoxification process. Chicory roots, dandelion and schisandra berries combine in this blend that captures all five tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and salty.

Chamomile Smooth Move Senna Tea
Senna tea is a traditional herbal stimulant used to help relieve occasional constipation and help empty the colon. Chamomile Smooth Move Senna Tea features a blend of popular botanical ingredients, including chamomile, fennel and peppermint leaf and it’s naturally caffeine-free and non-GMO Project Verified.

4) Popular Detox Supplements

Supplements are a powerful addition to your detox arsenal. Detox supplements do more than fill nutritional gaps, they support your system and help eliminate toxins. Two of the most potent detox-supporting supplements are activated charcoal and milk thistle.

Activated Charcoal Detox
Activated charcoal supplements work like a magnet to absorb and trap toxins in the body so you can eliminate them. You can also mix activated charcoal into a face mask to help detox your pores. Pick up some activated charcoal capsules and follow the instructions on the product, or open the directed number of capsules to mix into smoothies, detox drinks, or an activated charcoal face mask. Learn more about activated charcoal and how it works in the article What is Activated Charcoal?

Liver Detox Supplements
Your liver does a lot of work to metabolize what you put in your body, including processed foods, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals and environmental toxins.10 Get optimal liver detox support with concentrated herbal supplements, like Swanson Ultra Liver Tone, which includes schisandra berry, licorice root, milk thistle and black radish. Each of these ingredients works in specific ways to help detoxify the liver.

Milk Thistle is also a popular liver detox tonic. It’s full of powerful antioxidant flavonoids that provide protective support for the liver, spleen and kidneys. You can find it in Swanson Premium Milk Thistle.

5) Detox Your Body and Mind with Exercise

Sometimes getting back to the basics is the best way to go. Whether you’re working up a sweat or just out for a nice, long stroll, you can help your body eliminate toxins by getting regular exercise, and it can help clear your mind, too.

Exercise is great for boosting circulation, and since people who exercise regularly tend to have fewer toxins in their body, it may play a role in helping you detox.11 But exercise is also great for a mental detox. It has a profound effect on mood, stress and anxiousness, and it may help you sleep better and give your memory a boost.12 You don’t even have to break a sweat to get the mental benefits of exercise, just get your body moving more! Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Break it up into smaller chunks if that’s better for your schedule. Also, meditation and exercise are a powerful combo for your mind and body, so you might consider meditating after you exercise each day.13

The endorphins your body releases during and after exercise are responsible for a lot of the mental benefits of exercise. They may help improve concentration, boost your resilience to stressors and leave you feeling more energized.12 So, don’t forget this very important part of your mind and body detox plan. For more tips for fitting movement in your day, see Move More: How to Move More Each Day.

Detoxing Your Mind and Body

Whether you are planning to go on a detox diet or just want to fit more detoxifying rituals into your everyday wellness routine, these five detox tips will help you on your detox journey. Start a daily meditation practice, go on a digital detox (even if it’s only for a few hours each day), sip hydrating detox drinks, learn about detox supplements and get plenty of exercise.

If you have more detox tips to share, tell us about them in the comments below! Also, check out The Best Ways to Cleanse & Detox and More than a Trend: 5 Health Trend Pairs that Should Stay.

Amy Sunderman, MS, RD, Director of Science & Innovation Registered Dietitan

 

 



About Amy Sunderman, MS, RD
Director of Science & Innovation, Registered Dietitian, Swanson Health

Amy is a registered dietitian, nutritionist and author with over 17 years of experience in the supplement industry. Amy is passionate about dietary supplements and the health benefits they offer. She enjoys working to find novel nutritional ingredients with strong clinical research behind them to drive innovation and provide health-promoting products to consumers.

Sources

1 Eight weeks to a better brain. The Harvard Gazette. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2011/01/eight-weeks-to-a-better-brain/ (Accessed 03/27/2018)

2 Meditation Leads to Better Decision-Making. Foundation for a Mindful Society. https://www.mindful.org/meditation-leads-to-better-decision-making/ (Accessed 03/27/2018)

3 12 Science-based Benefits of Meditation. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-benefits-of-meditation#section1 (Accessed 03/27/2018)

4 Can Meditation Slow Rate of Cellular Aging? Cognitive Stress, Mindfulness and Telomeres. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bsc/nyas/2009/00001172/00000001/art00005 (Accessed 03/27/2018)

5 The digital detox phenomenon in 5 charts. Digiday. https://digiday.com/uk/digital-detox-phenomenon-5-charts/ (Accessed 03/28/2018)

6 Eye Doctors are Concerned about Blue Light (Infographic): Vision Service Plan VSPBlog. https://vspblog.com/blue-light-study/ (Accessed 11/06/2017)

7 Blue Light has a Dark Side: Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side (Accessed 11/06/2017)

8 Dr. Vijaya Juturu on Blue Light and Lutein: Swanson Health Products Facebook Live Video. https://www.facebook.com/SwansonVitamins/videos/10155698267084336/ (10/23/2017)

9 The Health Benefits of Water. Everyday Health. https://www.everydayhealth.com/water-health/water-body-health.aspx (Accessed 03/28/2018)

10 How does the liver work? PubMedHealth. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072577/ (Accessed 03/28/2018)

11 Skeletal muscle PGC-1alpha1 modulates kynurenine metabolism and mediates resilience to stress-induced depression. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25259918 (Accessed 04/03/2018)

12 The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm (Accessed 03/28/2018)

13 The Insane Power of Combining Exercise and Meditation. Men’s Journal. https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/the-insane-power-of-combining-exercise-and-meditation-20160301/ (Accessed 03/28/2018)

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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